Isaiah 1 Smarter donkeys


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Isaiah 1:1 The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
2 Hear me, you heavens! Listen, earth!
For the Lord has spoken:
“I reared children and brought them up,
but they have rebelled against me.
3 The ox knows its master,
the donkey its owner’s manger,
but Israel does not know,
my people do not understand.”
4 Woe to the sinful nation,
a people whose guilt is great,
a brood of evildoers,
children given to corruption!
They have forsaken the Lord;
they have spurned the Holy One of Israel
and turned their backs on him.
5 Why should you be beaten anymore?
Why do you persist in rebellion?
Your whole head is injured,
your whole heart afflicted.
6 From the sole of your foot to the top of your head
there is no soundness—
only wounds and welts
and open sores,
not cleansed or bandaged
or soothed with olive oil.
7 Your country is desolate,
your cities burned with fire;
your fields are being stripped by foreigners
right before you,
laid waste as when overthrown by strangers.
8 Daughter Zion is left
like a shelter in a vineyard,
like a hut in a cucumber field,
like a city under siege.
9 Unless the Lord Almighty
had left us some survivors,
we would have become like Sodom,
we would have been like Gomorrah.
10 Hear the word of the Lord,
you rulers of Sodom;
listen to the instruction of our God,
you people of Gomorrah!
11 “The multitude of your sacrifices—
what are they to me?” says the Lord.
“I have more than enough of burnt offerings,
of rams and the fat of fattened animals;
I have no pleasure
in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.
12 When you come to appear before me,
who has asked this of you,
this trampling of my courts?
13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings!
Your incense is detestable to me.
New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—
I cannot bear your worthless assemblies.
14 Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals
I hate with all my being.
They have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you spread out your hands in prayer,
I hide my eyes from you;
even when you offer many prayers,
I am not listening.
Your hands are full of blood!
16 Wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds out of my sight;
stop doing wrong.
17 Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.[a]
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.
18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the good things of the land;
20 but if you resist and rebel,
you will be devoured by the sword.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
21 See how the faithful city
has become a prostitute!
She once was full of justice;
righteousness used to dwell in her—
but now murderers!
22 Your silver has become dross,
your choice wine is diluted with water.
23 Your rulers are rebels,
partners with thieves;
they all love bribes
and chase after gifts.
They do not defend the cause of the fatherless;
the widow’s case does not come before them.
24 Therefore the Lord, the Lord Almighty,
the Mighty One of Israel, declares:
“Ah! I will vent my wrath on my foes
and avenge myself on my enemies.
25 I will turn my hand against you;[b]
I will thoroughly purge away your dross
and remove all your impurities.
26 I will restore your leaders as in days of old,
your rulers as at the beginning.
Afterward you will be called
the City of Righteousness,
the Faithful City.”
27 Zion will be delivered with justice,
her penitent ones with righteousness.
28 But rebels and sinners will both be broken,
and those who forsake the Lord will perish.
29 “You will be ashamed because of the sacred oaks
in which you have delighted;
you will be disgraced because of the gardens
that you have chosen.
30 You will be like an oak with fading leaves,
like a garden without water.
31 The mighty man will become tinder
and his work a spark;
both will burn together,
with no one to quench the fire.”

a. Isaiah 1:17 Or justice. / Correct the oppressor
b. Isaiah 1:25 That is, against Jerusalem

Over in 2 Kings it became obvious that humans were really giving God a problem. God promised David that one of his descendants would always be on the throne..... but the pickings got really slim there for a while. When I saw the name Ahaz, I remembered reading about him. I think Ahaz is a great example of what was going on.... see, Ahaz built himself a fine altar and had it put right in the temple. He even moved God's stuff out of the way to put his Altar in there. Ahaz thought he was as good as God.

This is from the site.

The book of Isaiah is a marvelous book of prophecy. Of course, it is the longest book of prophecy in the Bible, and it would seem that God gave to Isaiah a clearer vision of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ than any other of the Old Testament prophets. He writes much concerning the Messiah that is to come.​
In the first verse he tells us the historical time of his prophecies, beginning when Uzziah was king of Judah, which puts it about 760 BC. And he lived through the succeeding reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and into Hezekiah's reign. And there is some conjecture that he lived through Hezekiah's reign until the reign of Hezekiah's son Manasseh, who was an extremely wicked king. And there are some stories that Manasseh the son of Hezekiah ordered Isaiah to be sawed in two, and that in the New Testament the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, where it tells us about the Old Testament heroes.​
But Isaiah names these kings through Hezekiah as the kings under which he served. In the Old Testament, if you go back to II Chronicles beginning with chapter 26 and on through to chapter 32, you will get the historic background for Isaiah's prophesies. Because in II Chronicles, chapter 26-32, these kings, their reigns are listed, and for special credit for the course, you'll go back and read II Chronicles 26-32 in order to best understand the prophecies of Isaiah as they fit in their historic setting.​
This first chapter seems to be saying "even an ass knows"! I'm continuing in

A few years ago in Jerusalem a crime was committed and the criminal in escaping left his donkey at the scene of the crime. And the detective, who happened to know a little bit of scripture who was examining the case, came and said, "Well, just turn the donkey loose," and they followed him and led them to his master's crib. And the man was apprehended.​
The donkey has enough sense to know his master's crib. But God said, "But Israel doesn't know. My people do not consider." They have not taken God into consideration that God has been providing for them. "They don't know Me," God is complaining.
Think how patient God has been with some of you. Think of how long-suffering God is. Even an animal has enough sense to know his owner, to know his master's crib. To know where his provisions are coming from. But God says, "My people haven't considered; Israel doesn't know Me."
We look at the evil of the church and the church history that gave the impression to man that he could buy the forgiveness of his sins. "That's all right, just as long as you can make a healthy contribution." We'll pat you on the back and say, "Fine fellow. Sit down here in the front row. We got your name with a gold star on the window, crystal. We've got your name here. You've donated. You're in good standing." It's been the curse of the church. To make men feel comfortable thinking that because of their contributions and all that they're well accepted and God has an open-door policy. God is interested in the heart. God says, "Hey, I've had it up to here with your sacrifices. I didn't ask you to come in. Who invited you into My courts? Who required you to come along?"
God's people were going sour.... kings were telling the priests what to do. Kings were building alters for themselves. Kings were waltzing in the temple and doing whatever they chose. Kings were setting up churches that worshiped other gods. Isaiah was one of the ones who warned them. This was before the Babylonians killed, castrated, or enslaved all the people of Israel except the very poorest. This was before the Temple was destroyed. This was before the people of Israel were force marched to Babylon where they were enslaved for 70 years. Isaiah is warning the people about the Assyrians [Babylonians].

God told the people, through Isaiah, "even donkeys and oxen are smarter than humans!"